Test cricket has made me a better person: Virat Kohli

Mumbai: During an Instagram live with former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, Indian cricket team captian Virat Kohli was asked about red-ball cricket which the ace batsman has time and again vouched for as the No. 1 format of the game. Kohli also has spoken sharply against four-day Tests.

“Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, I have said it five times,” Kohli said when Pietersen asked him to choose his favourite format.

“For me, it is the representation of life. You got to keep going when u don’t score runs, you go back in your hotel room and again get ready the next day. It is life. It has made me a better person,” added the 31-year old, rated as the best modern-day batsman across all three formats.

Asked about the fatigue factor of a modern-day crickters playing all three formats and leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kohli said he does balance it with breaks in between a season and will assess whether to play only one or two formats after the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

“I have been taking breaks. Last 2-3 seasons I have been doing too much. I don’t want to miss out on Test cricket. I have been playing three formts for 9 years now with IPL. Then captancy for 6 years. It’s not easy. I will give it all for next 2-3 yars and then will see what format to play and all after next World Cup.”

Kohli also spoke about the lowest point in his career being the 2014 England tour where he failed miserably with the bat.

“England tour in 2014 was the lowest point in my career. I felt like as a batsman you know you will get out. I still had to get out of bed and get dressed knowing I would fail. It demolished me and I promised I will never allow myself to think like that. I was too focused on doing well from personal point of view.”

Locked at home due to the 21-day lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Kohli also said this is the most amount of time he has spent with actress wife Anushka Sharma.

“This is the longest we have spent together since we have been together. We have never been in one place for this long.”

A lot is said about Virat Kohli’s on-field aggression crossing the line at times, but the Indian captain on Thursday asserted that he does not feel the need to behave differently as he is the captain and he can never play without having that fire in his belly.

During India’s recent tour to New Zealand, Kohli had a fiery exchange with a journalist who asked him to tone down his aggression following his team’s crushing defeat in the second and final Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval. India lost the Test series 0-2.

On the second day of the Test match, Kohli was seen giving angry send-offs to Kiwi batters and animatedly celebrating the fall of wickets during the first two sessions. On one particular instance, Kohli was even seen using an expletive towards the crowd.

“There is bit of crazy up here as well (in his head). When I played under MS (Dhoni) I was in his ear every moment. I wanted to be at the right place at the right time. I don’t think I need to behave differently because I am a captain. I can’t play any other way. I made a promise, the day I stop feeling like that I will stop,” Kohli told former England batsman Kevi Pietersen during an Instagram live session.

“For me the most important thing is how can I contribute to help team win. That mindset should never change. Lot of things people say to stir things up in India, but you have to block the noise and make most of the opportunity in front of you,” he added.

Asked about India’s problems on away soil, Kohli made light of the matter despite their recent travails in red ball cricket saying now conditions feel same everywhere with so much cricket and its more about the mindset.

“Before we used to come in every 3-4 years in England. In India, you guys come every year for IPL. But now with so much tour and cricket, we don’t feel we are playing in alien conditions. Anyone can beat anyone anywhere. we feel the same in terms of conditions. Now its all about fatigue and mindset.”

Kohli also shed light on him turning vegan, saying it is the best decision he has made in his life.

“In 2018, I got a cervical spine issue. I could barely feel my finger and I coundn t sleep the body was acidic, my stomach started pulling calcium from my bones and my bones got weaker. I cut down uric acid from my body and I left meat. That is the best decision I have made in my life. I have never felt better waking up. I can play 3 games a week and can recover within a day after a Test match and go on another.”

 

NT Bureau